Crime and Safety

Teen violence is out of control in NYC, warn Eric Adams and NYPD

Out-of-control teenagers are committing an increasing proportion of robberies in the Big Apple, the NYPD said Thursday, as Mayor Eric Adams warned that many of the city’s kids are going to “make a career in violence.”

During a briefing on last year’s CompStat data, Michael Lipetri, head of crime strategy, said that 20% of robbery arrests in the fourth quarter were made by “persons under the age of 18,” compared to 17% for the full year.

“Under 18 years old, robbing New Yorkers. There are statistics,” he said regretfully.

Worse still, Lipetri said, “Trends continue, unfortunately, 10% of all shooting victims — 10% of all New York City shooting victims — are under 18 years old.

“All other age categories go down when you track them between 10 and 17, 18 and 24 and so on,” he added during a presentation at NYPD headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

This is up from 17% for the entire year.
Crime chief Michael Lipetri said 20% of robbery arrests in the fourth quarter were made by minors.

About 17% of 9,942 robbery arrests last year were young people, compared to 13% in 2021, according to the NYPD. Statistics show that in 2020, minors accounted for about 19% of robberies.

The number was higher in the pre-pandemic years, according to the data, with under-18s accounting for 27% of robbery arrests in 2019 and 23% in 2018.

The alarming statistics came despite what the mayor described as a tipping point after he took office on January 1, 2022, when “crime was on an upward trend.”

“We are leaving 2022 with crime … on a downward trend,” Adams said.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there was an overall decline in serious crime in the fourth quarter and also during the “current seven and 28 days”.

“These cuts are a direct result of a multi-year strategy,” she said. “With such momentum, going forward, we are confident in the coming year. We expect significant progress in maintaining the crime trends that we are seeing.”

During a post-briefing Q&A session, Adams repeated his reaction Wednesday to a viral video of a suspended police officer beating a 14-year-old girl during a hand-to-hand fight outside a Staten Island school, saying: “I was horrified to see how well a trained officer would have responded to such an incident.”

There has also been a decrease in crime in "the current seven and 28 days."
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that there was a general decrease in serious crime in the fourth quarter.
Paul Martinka

“But I was also horrified to learn that a young girl at that school had been attacked by two other students,” he said.

“The violence that comes from our youth,” Adams continued. “When you see some of these actions, when you see the total disregard for human life, it’s really hard to just understand the consequences of what the victims are going through and how these young people are ruining their lives.”

Adams added: “I believe this officer was wrong and I thank the Commissioner of Police and the Bureau of the Interior for their swift action.

“But let’s clean it back up. You know, that little girl was going to school and she was attacked. They jumped her! he said. “We can’t normalize it. We cannot continue to ignore the violence that is really affecting our youth… If we do not intervene, they will become violent and we must stop it.”

Statistics show that in 2020, minors accounted for about 19% of robberies.
Youth made up about 17% of 9,942 robbery arrests last year, up from 13% in 2021.

Adams said he planned to visit Edwin Markham High School, not far from where the incident took place around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

“I am calling all of my favorites in this community. I call my religious leaders in this community. Let’s go to that school and find out what’s going on,” he said.

The police officer involved in the incident, who sources say is Nicholas Scalzo, a 14-year veteran, declined to comment when The Post spotted him outside his Staten Island home on Thursday.

But during a Q&A session at One Police Plaza, Sewell said: “The officers in this incident were reacting to a violent fight between several people at this location.

“While the officer was trying to take police action and detain one of the participants in this fight, someone interfered in this detention and actually hit our officer,” she said.

Sewell added that “I don’t think anyone, or the very few people who saw this video, weren’t concerned” and promised a “thorough investigation” in which Scalzo would “get due process.”

Additional report by Kevin Sheehan

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